Wednesday, 05 December 2018 19:48

Kids get pancakes, photo with Santa at Hamlet Fire Department

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Brothers Eli and Kyle Sachs pose with Jolly Ole St. Nick during Saturday's Breakfast with Santa at the Hamlet Fire Department. Brothers Eli and Kyle Sachs pose with Jolly Ole St. Nick during Saturday's Breakfast with Santa at the Hamlet Fire Department. Photos by Pam Simmons - Richmond Observer

HAMLET— Ol’ Saint Nick, sitting in front of a shiny red fire truck, learned what local children wanted for Christmas early Saturday during the annual Breakfast with Santa event at the Hamlet Fire Department.

The youngsters and their parents filled up on a breakfast of pancakes, sausage and bacon before visiting with Kris Kringle to share their wishes and pose for a photo.

Assistant Chief Richard Lassiter was in charge of the pancakes, while Robert Brown and Sandra Lynch worked together on two large griddles in the back of the fire truck bay, preparing the bacon and sausage. 

Students Michael and Gregory helped out as “runners,” taking the bacon and sausage to the kitchen to be plated for the hungry crowd. Jorja Moore, 9, assisted this year for the first time, but took orders and waited on tables like a pro.

Children were registered and photographed as they arrived to assure the safe arrival of their picture and a special letter in the mail from Santa at the North Pole.

Some of the younger children were a little shy at first, but eventually warmed up to Santa and accepted a candy cane after they shared what they wanted for Christmas.

Brothers Eli and Kyle Sachs, dressed in red and black flannel shirts, posed with Santa, with Eli offering Santa a piece of bacon. 

Cameron, dressed in a green dress and knee-high boots, whispered to Santa that she wanted a Baby Alive for Christmas. 

Other children asked for Ninja Turtles, dinosaurs and drones. 

Members of the Richmond Service League were dressed in green shirts, identifying them as “Santa’s Helpers.” The helpers included Vickie Wright, Mandy Allen, Rose Cook and Mandy Moore. 

“This is the 24th year that we have had this event as a fundraiser as Toys for Tots,” said Dena Cook, who heads up the League. “Last year we raised over $1,000. This is a tradition for many of the families that come here to have breakfast and see Santa each year.”

Toys for Tots was established in 1947 by reservist Maj. Bill Hicks and is run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

One of the best parts of the event, Cook said, is shopping for children after the breakfast

“We take the proceeds and look for the best bargains, like buy one, get two free,” she added.

Other service projects for the League include participating in Bowling for Autism, Bowling for Breast Cancer and Habitat for Humanity. 

There are Toys for Tots boxes set up around the county to collect new, unwrapped playthings that are distributed to children who may be less fortunate than others.